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Grateful Dead Live at Avalon Ballroom on 1968-10-12

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Grateful Dead Live at Avalon Ballroom on 1968-10-12

Set 1:
d1t01 - Introduction
d1t02 - Dark Star ->
d1t03 - Saint Stephen ->
d1t04 - The Eleven ->
d1t05 - Death Don't Have No Mercy

Set 2:
d1t06 - Cryptical Envelopment ->
d1t07 - Drums ->
d1t08 - The Other One ->
d1t09 - Cryptical Envelopment ->
d1t10 - New Potato Caboose ->
d1t11 - Drums ->
d1t12 - Jam ->
d1t13 - Feedback

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Avalon Ballroom
Location San Francisco, CA

Source SBD -> Master Reel -> Dat (48k)
Lineage Dat (Sony R500) -> Behringer Ultramatch SRC2000 -> Samplitude Professional v9.11 -> FLAC
Transferred by Charlie Miller


Pigpen was absent


Reviewer: flacfiend - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 22, 2017
Subject: Avalon '68
Thanks, this was my first Grateful Dead cassette. I was hooked! This upgrade from Charlie Miller has the
"Introduction" and "Feedback" --- which my tape did not have. Apparently this show is often labelled as from 10/13/68.

Reviewer: Newpotato2 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 3, 2016
Subject: Wow
Fantastic show, true 68 sound. End jam is great!
Reviewer: Niass200 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 24, 2015
Subject: I think I missed this show, I spoke no languages at the time..
I was 150 days old, and my dad doesn't recall dates, but he thinks we were there with my mom and that I laid a silent but deadly one during the New Potato caboose (Not a lie I am not kidding). . Anyways I did recall and went to 10/12/84 Augusta, maine ,and it got me thinking about dates, if they recalled dates, and if certain dates are recalled as being dates where a good time was had, there's good dates and bad dates. 4/30 is a bad day? See 1984. 10/12 was also the date of Augusta, ME 10/12/84, a shocking event, try it, and listen to the whle playin uncle jon circle, and listen to how they simply stand there with the music screaming and pounding like a shark attack, that 84 show is a look back to something else that may have never occurred. I heard an acquaintance of mine ran down the Highway naked from that show back to Boston. is that true, not sure. . the prior and post shows on that 84 tour were good like Worcester and umm somewhere, but something happened on 10/12/84, and it was not ordinary. Anyways, no need to comment on this show, when I get my time machine operating I plan on attending...til then I guess its off to phily 2015! If u said to someone at this 10/12/68 show u'd see them in Philly in 2015 they'd think you were Jimi Hendrix yourself. Moon turn the tides, gently gently away. And if jimi was there that's a sin to not have at least said "Hey that guy is here from Seattle who plays with the Momkees,........nerdnipnikscnhdip, let's play hey Joe. and IZABELLA.
Reviewer: BVD - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 1, 2014
Subject: Inexcusable !
If Hendrix was there (I seriously doubt the claim below) and The Dead forgot about him is just a fucking sin. Unforgivable! I don't care how fucked up they may have been. They could not have been to stoned to play music like this! This show is the pinnacle of all 60's show regardless of forgetting about Jimi.
Reviewer: peteywheatstraw - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 14, 2014
Subject: primal dead
Can't say much more than whats already been said about this gem, the show is a five and the recording is a five. Only thing missing is a good lovelight...but no pig at this show. A must have.
Reviewer: Rainwaters - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2014
Superb, stupendous, legendary, pure, transcendental.

Reviewer: tellurideted - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 31, 2014
Subject: A dream come true!
To finally hear a clean recording of this show - wow - I feel like I'm in a dream... many lifetimes ago (11th grade / early 1980s?) this was one of my first bootlegs, and even though it was absolutely dreadful quality - super hissy (countless generations old tape)- it was always one of my favorites because the deep, powerful psychedelic jams were so mind-bending. The terrible quality of the recording actually added to the effect because it was like an archeological discovery of something from another age of the world, from the dreamtime, something that was just a shadow of what it had once been, but with the beauty and magic still there beneath the dust. Plus, it was a recording of a radio broadcast of this show, and somewhere in the middle of the set the DJ comes on and in a deep, mysterious voice says "Good evening San Francisco", which always sent my imagination soaring far from the boring, uptight NY suburb where I was growing up...
Reviewer: texas7777777 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 26, 2013
Subject: Hendrix did not play with the Dead
I has been stated in more than one GD biography that they tried to set up a jam, but they forgot about Jimi, then when they went looking for him to join in , he was already gone.
Reviewer: sharkmanlpn - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 18, 2013
Subject: Top 5 of all Time
More stars than I can list if you want to turn some one on This is THE ONE
Reviewer: Half a Mile from Tucson-000 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 17, 2013
Subject: One More Saturday Night, chapter 5.1
Great quality, standard setlist, extraordinary playing. Most of the shows from this era had very similar setlists, but they are like cosmic snowflakes in their execution. On this night the universe melded well with the band and gave the performance extra pace and energy. Two jams, out of all the phenominal jams that litter this gig, stand out to me. They are the 11 and New Potato pieces that I always love to hear and these are stellar performances of both. I do miss hearing the Pig tunes that were not here due to his absence, but the show is definitely not lacking in any way whatsoever. Play it, and loudly!
Reviewer: doug_the_dude - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 12, 2013
Subject: Extraordinary
You won't miss Pigpen on this one - the boys show they're in absolute prime form and deliver that insane rolling thunder that made them legends. Just jaw-dropping.

That does indeed sound like Jimi's guitar around 4:30 or so.
Reviewer: theelevan - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 8, 2013
Subject: Best ever
Hands down the best Grateful Dead show of all time.
Reviewer: William Tell - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 13, 2013
Subject: Lets start over again...this show deserves TWO!
The "Miller Upgrade" warrants a whole new set of reviews...This show, so critical to so many (I shared the experience of the reviewer on the "other" version of long having a cassette of the rebroadcast in 76 or so when the 70s DJ starts it off with "Hello San Francisco!"), is an amazingly flawless stream of the fall of 68 at its best. It proves two things to me: Bob added something, and Pig (sadly) was not critical to this new era for the boys. TC, whom I love, DOES end up bringing a great deal to the band, but in Oct 68 it is clear that the toy organ contribution of PP to DS is best left aside (compare Aug Shrine shows to this). The upbeat versions of StSt are clearly the best, though those of late 70 are close behind.

Enjoy folks, Miller has improved what you didn't think was improvable. Was a five star before, has to be one now.
Reviewer: boboneil - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 14, 2012
Subject: One of the best.
I knew this sounded familiar, I traded for this tape back in the 70's! Charlie's version is much more complete and clean, this show is worth saving. This is "Live Dead" and "Anthem..." (no alligator or Pig, tho) but almost MORE live. Excellent crowd banter, too, sounds like a good night at the Avalon.

Sadly, I was in 8th grade in Ohio...

I have that other tape someone referenced too, and after garcia says "... until we drop," somebody (Phil) says "That won't be long."
Reviewer: Darrylizer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 9, 2012
Subject: A must hear show despite Pigpen being MIA
Apparently Pigpen's girlfriend had suffered a stroke causing him to miss the run at the Avalon. That and his position in the Grateful Dead, along with Bob Weir's was in question. Jerry and Phil talked of firing the both of them.

Pigpen is missed, however the guys make up for his absence with some fantastic playing. In fact these are some of the heaviest and headiest jams of the year. The interplay between the various members is nothing short of miraculous and Jerry is sublime. 10/12 is a must have.
Reviewer: stevanjackie - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 26, 2011
Subject: I NEED this
New here. How do I get this as an MP3 download? Any help?
Reviewer: airosoria - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 22, 2011
Subject: One of the best of an era~
If you don't have this one maybe you can find it over at
Reviewer: Hashjihad - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 4, 2011
Subject: Thank You Charlie Miller
Thank You Charlie Miller for making these shows that much better.

I have this disc from 66 I think, I don't know the actual date, but it is Mickey and the Hartbeats. And as far as I can tell is just Mickey, Jourma from Jefferson Airplane, and Jerry. Just straight blues... Sometimes I play it for a friend and ask who they think it is. Unless it is someone who knows my obsession with the Dead, they answer Jimi Hendrix? every single time. It is pretty amazing actually Jerry really could have played any Genre with any band.

LONG LIVE THE DEAD and LIVE MUSIC! Screw these pop musicians who make their living through endorsements! SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC! MUSICIANS SHOULD GET PAYED TO PLAY!
Reviewer: AimlessDrifter - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 17, 2011
Subject: pure bliss
mmmmm...perma-smile. This show defines the true essence of The Grateful Dead. Beautiful jams. Beautiful vocals. Founding fathers and guides of trancending time and space. Enough talk. More Cowbell.

Beyond the pale.
Reviewer: - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 16, 2011
Subject: Great Anthem period show
For fans of the Anthem period, it doesn't get much better than this. Jerry's leads are blistering and Weir has a great thick sound. I don't miss Pigpen or TC at all and their absence may actually contribute to the tightness of the show. Very high quality recording for the time.
Reviewer: rgargour - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 16, 2010
Subject: Important Music
Other One 4:08...I have never heard such a raw, earthy, voodoo, tribal sounding jam before. With that wooly sounding Les Paul it is perfection! The problem with improvised music is inspiration and interest. This version of the Other One, and ensuing Cryptical, show the benefits of improvised music, when the musicians are inspired and interested in what they are doing. At that level of music what comes through is the heart of the musicians. Their souls! You can tell from the music that they are doing this for the music and for humanity. They set out with the highest ideals and intentions, and that gave them an infinite ceiling for what music can be and how it can function. I am getting sidetracked but this type of thing needs to be heard by everyone! This is the best of humanity and America, it should be held up high as an example of human possibility and achievement. Some of the best Improvised-Rock-Group-Musicianship EVER!
Reviewer: grifftrain2000 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 24, 2010
Subject: 10-12-68
Just when I think I have all the grateful dead shows I need, you discover a show like this. I am generally new to the Grateful Dead, with just having really appreicated how good they were in the past year or so. I have never sought out much befor 1970. But after listening to this, my love of this band has grown. I never really got why "metalheads" used to "bang thier heads", but after listening to The Other One from this show, I understand. Its involuntary. I cant help but to rock out when hearing this. Not that Im comparing the Dead to a metalband, of course. But the fire of this show is undeniable. I highly recommend you listen to this show
Reviewer: clementinescaboose - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 23, 2010
Subject: Worthy of an Official Release; the next night IS NOT better!!
A strong contender for the best of the year, this is an essential show that belongs in every collection. seriously, whether you're a primal dead fan or not, you NEED this show!

The Dark Star is gorgeous and well jammed, the Eleven and the That's It for the Other One suite are pretty much peerless in '68, and Phil's Thirteens Jam-style solo during New Potato is absolutely astonishing!

Reviewer: micah6vs8 - - July 8, 2010
Subject: Essential
Part of the canon . Foundational .
Reviewer: bastonelec - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 12, 2010
Subject: Jimi was no doubt there....
Hendrix played Winterland the week before for Bill Graham (10/3-5/68) and the following week The Dead played the Avalon (10-11-13/68) Jimi wasn't playing anywhere that weekend and hanging in SF at that time was always fun - pretty, earthy, sexy girls everywhere in the city...
Reviewer: ravj61 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 1, 2010
Subject: My favorite show?
I've had a recording of this show for quite awhile, but my version has a much poorer audio quality. This is amazing. Several things. I had this as being 10-13-68, not 10-12. On the recording I have, the crowd is in a ruckus during the intro and Jerry says "Everybody relax for christ's sakes; everybody just cool it. Everything's gonna be all right. We're gonna play here until, until we drop." The version here and another version uploaded by David Gans have different intros. Can someone help me to place Jerry's comments? The last thing is that my recording ended at the end of NPC. How amazing is the jam that follows? They just nail every f&*%er in the place to the back wall. Unbelievable. With or without Pigpen, this show is top 10 and this Dark Star is top 5. In the summer of 2003 I drove all over France listening to this show. A gift from heaven.
Reviewer: gvtmule - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 12, 2009
Subject: Hendix
This is fantastic stuff - probably my favorite era, mid 68 through 69.

The Hendrix story is pretty cool. Per the Compendium he was there on the 13th rather than the 12th. McNally's book (pg 379) also states he didn't play but not beacuse the band was mad that he "stood them up" the previous night but because they were so high they forgot to wave him on before he left. Who knows, memories can be foggy and maybe he did sneak up there? Seems unlikely and you'd think it would be for more than a feedback contruibution...
Reviewer: Dr.Unclear - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 19, 2009
Subject: Sounds like you're sitting right there
This sounds so good I don't know what else to say. The show is an intense blast of psychadelic jamming. Put headphones on an listen to the scratching percussion instrument during DS bounce back and forth in stereo... awesome that we have this level of quality for a show that happened 40+ years ago.
Reviewer: L. Rosley - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 20, 2009
Subject: Pigpen absent – great first set
Pigpen seems to be absent – we don’t hear organ anywhere. Still a good show, though. Audio quality is excellent.

The first set is better than the second. This is a classic Dark Star from the classic Dark Star period. The jam is interesting and Jerry delivers great vocals. St. Stephan is the same arrangement as on Aoxomoxoa, with the bells and the wobbly guitar. (They were recording Aoxomoxoa at this time). It, as well as The Eleven, are tight and energetic, with great jamming. The set ends with Death Don’t Have No Mercy, with Jerry at his finest on vocal, with nice guitar work as well. on Death Don’t.

The Second set starts out well with a good Cryptical>Other One. There’s a somewhat rough transition into New Potato, where absence of any keyboard is noticeable. Nice vocal by Bob.
There a somewhat weak Drums followed by an Alligator-ish jam. This is pretty good stuff, but there are better Anthem sets in 1968, with better transitions, particularly February-March and August.

First set 5, second set 4. Lack of Pigpen rounds it down to 4.
Reviewer: dylan&theded - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 5, 2009
Subject: on the day that i was born
only i was born 12 years later.
Reviewer: laughingsam - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 1, 2009
Subject: HOT SHOW
This show is a no-brainer. Get it while it's here.

This is the first I'm hearing about Jimi Hendrix on stage with The Dead, but I'll buy it. Hendrix played Winterland on this night and it's very possible he turned up at this show.
Reviewer: Star Struck Lunatic - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 26, 2009
Subject: When Jimi kicks in during Feedback.
It's fun to try to figure out when Jimi actually joined into Feedback, but I think he's recognizable starting at 4:26 here. If it's true about what happened the night before, it's too bad Jimi didn't join in earlier. Although, I don't know how or where he would he would have fit into this or any setlist. It sure is interesting to wonder though.
Reviewer: oh_uh_um_ah - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 24, 2009
Subject: The GRATEFUL DEAD "Live" October 12, 1968 at the Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco, California U.S.A.
I recommend clicking Charlie Miller's name and getting all his GRATEFUL DEAD shows. He has impeccable taste.

5 Star mix
5 Star recording
5 Star Performance
5 Stars for Charlie Miller

I highly recommend adding this show to your 1968 GRATEFUL DEAD collection right now. It sounds like it was performed and recorded today, no kidding.

7 minutes of feedback from the Avalon Ballroom in 1968 is just what I love the most, it doesn't get any better than that for me, unless it's 8 minutes of feedback. The tape ends before the feedback does...bummer man.

Only Jimi Hendrix and the GRATEFUL DEAD had the chops to use feedback in a live performance and make it work.

It's a "MUST HAVE" performance from the Avalon Ballroom in 1968.

Eat, Drink, be Merry and Listen to the GRATEFUL DEAD.

Thanks for the Love,

Charlie did it again...another "audio masterpiece".

Trust in Charlie Miller.
Reviewer: Shropy Dop - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 2, 2008
Pig wasnt there wonder what his was up to! good show but can only give it a 4. ShROpPy dOp
Reviewer: Evan S. Hunt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2008
Subject: Jimi Hendrix Onstage During Feedback
I was at this show... specifically to see Mance Lipscomb because I was really into old time blues in those days.

Some of my Diablo Valley College football team buddies went along to see Linn County, a popular underground blues band at the time. We were celebrating our earlier in the day victory over San Mateo Junior College.

That the Grateful Dead was the headliner was totally an afterthought, but most of us stayed to gather in their entire set which lasted until well past the 2 a.m. curfew.

The entire week the SF Bay Area had been draped and ensconsed in the most beautifully perfect weather pattern I have ever experienced -- even to this day. I still count this as one of the most utterly perfect weeks in my life. The crystal clear days and nights were warm and balmy with an unending gentle breeze. The air was soft and caressing to the skin.

There is a note attached to this show that there was no performance emanated from Blue Ron, but of little note there should be amended that towards the end of the Dead's venture into their nightly featured mania called Feedback, Jimi Hendrix came up on stage and added his howl to the ongoing din.

This is no lie. I saw it with my own eyes. Jimi came up on stage and played with the Dead. Nobody noticed and nobody said anything. There was no announcement.

After countless years of research consisting of reading every record ever written about the Grateful Dead, asking people in the know like Rock Scully, Danny Riskin, Chet Helms, David Gans and David Lemieux, and asking hundreds of various Dead Heads, past and present, apparently, I am the only one who ever saw Jimi actually get up there and play.

I'm not asking you to take my word for it and I surely would like it if someone could corroborate my claim, but it doesn't really matter in the long run. I saw what I saw and I was not stoned or altered, mentally or physically, in any way.

It happened just as I say it happened...on this night...forty unforgettable years ago.
Reviewer: Chris U. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 12, 2008
Subject: Hello, San Francisco ...
Happy 40th Anniversary.

I never get tired of listening to the overtones and feedback from Jerry's amp, particularly during the Dark Star (which someone should transcribe for a symphony orchestra) and the Cryptical outro. This show also includes one of the very best Elevens (the transition into the minor key jam is devastating, with Bobby and/or Phil shouting out the change the background), and a really sweet New Potato Caboose.
Reviewer: funklord84 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2008
Subject: Hey, this one sounds better...
Just found this show searching through shows with the most reviews - awesome, awesome St.Stephen. Just pouring joy. As I said on the more original version, you can hear the elation. This is It. Right Here. NOW! There's just no beating this stuff... especially with the filled out sound (slightly pitch corrected also?)
Reviewer: Jim F - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 25, 2008
Subject: Good, but not as good as 10/13...
This is a fine show from a very favorite era of mine, but I don't see how so many people think that The Eleven from this night beats out the one from 10/13? This one is good, but something about the next night's performance REALLY grabs me. I can think of at least 5 Eleven's I'd pick over this one, but we all know how these things are so subjective. I still give it 5 stars for being a grand performance in gorgeous sound, not just for the era, but in general. Wonderful mix.
Reviewer: patourkid - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 24, 2008
Subject: SICKO
This one throws the curve off.....if this is a five then I don't know of many (if any) equals. So for the sake of the curve lets cheat this one up to a six and level the field for the others....
Reviewer: lanzarishi - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 19, 2008
Subject: awesome
I completely concur with the first reviewer. This show is perfect! I cannot understand however why this wasn't used as a proper release. The feedback (my personal fave)is on fire. The whole show is Transcendental Bliss, TRUST US!
Reviewer: Arbuthnot - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 29, 2007
Subject: acid-dead at it's blistering best
this show is, without any doubt whatsoever, a vehicle of fiery beauty, it will blister your mind and drain you dry; it is a flawless gem of a show from start to finish, from the 15 minute compact Dark Star (probably the best from this era) right up to the Feedback that follows an incredible post-Drums heavy Jam that requires no added stimuli to take you to "that" place every questing soul yearns for; i've said it before, but this is the show i will have piped into my coffin when the day finally comes; a friggin' five-star show without equal for the era
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